Kenyan dam bursts causing "huge destruction", deaths

10 May, 2018, 14:09 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
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The breach happened in the town of Solai, which is approximately 120 miles northwest of the capital of Nairobi, late on Wednesday.

The Kenyan Red Cross tweeted that it had rescued 39 people.

The floodwaters swept away powerlines, homes and buildings, including a primary school, a Reuters photographer on the scene said, as rescue workers picked through rubble and mud searching for survivors.

At least 38 people were killed, though the death toll could rise as search-and-rescue operations continue.

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"Locals at Solai shopping centre talk of a huge explosion" before seeing a cloud of water move their way.

"We assure residents that we will do our best to take affected families to safety and help them get medical attention", he said in a statement.

"We have recovered 27 bodies and many people are missing. It is a disaster".

It comes after weeks of heavy rain. "My other neighbours also died". Local leaders are now investigating whether the farmer had a licence to erect the dams.

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Even before this week's dam-burst, rains had killed 132 people and displaced 222,000 in Kenya alone, according to the government. The flood waters have destroyed an area of farmland larger than New York City, displaced over 260,000 people and drowned around 6,000 livestock.

A billion Kenyan shillings is worth roughly £7.3million.

The extreme weather comes at a time when the country is also trying to tackle a cholera outbreak as well as an epidemic of the mosquito-linked chikungunya virus. On Wednesday, the United Nations office for the co-ordination of humanitarian affairs reported a death toll of 118, up from 100 on May 4.

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